Susan Olsen

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Susan Olsen
Olsen in 2009
Born Susan Marie Olsen
(1961-08-14) August 14, 1961 (age 54)
Santa Monica, California, U.S.
Occupation Actress, artist, radio host, advocate
Years active 1968–present

Susan Marie Olsen (born August 14, 1961) is an American former child actress, animal welfare advocate, radio host, and creator of pop art. Olsen is best known for her role as Cindy Brady, the youngest child of Mike and Carol Brady (played by Robert Reed and Florence Henderson) in the sitcom The Brady Bunch for the full run of the show, from 1969 to 1974.

Early life[edit]

Olsen was born in Santa Monica, California, the youngest of four children. Her siblings are: Larry (24 years older), Christopher (14 years older), and Diane (5 years older). Christopher was also a child actor, perhaps best known for his role in The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956).

Acting career[edit]

Early roles[edit]

Olsen landed a number of supporting roles in television, most notably in Ironside, Gunsmoke, and Julia, and appeared in the Elvis Presley movie The Trouble With Girls (1968) as a squeaky-clean singer in a singing contest.

The Brady Bunch[edit]

Olsen as Cindy Brady, the youngest of the The Brady Bunch

At age eight she was cast as Cindy on The Brady Bunch.

As an adult, Olsen has expressed that portraying Cindy made friendships difficult for her as a child. She most disliked the Season 2 "tattletale" episode, in which Cindy incessantly snitches on her siblings. Because of the episode, she was shunned by her real-life peers, who did not understand the difference between actors and their characters.[citation needed]

Olsen has appeared in all Brady Bunch reunion movies with the exception of A Very Brady Christmas (1988), which was filmed when she and her first husband were on their honeymoon. In that movie, Cindy Brady was played by Jennifer Runyon. Olsen reprised her role as Cindy Brady in the short lived CBS spin-off series The Bradys.

In 2005, VH1 ranked her No. 34 in The 100 Greatest Kid Stars of television and film.[1]

In 2007, Olsen and her fellow cast members were honored with the TV Pop Culture Award on the TV Land Awards. This is the only award The Brady Bunch has ever won.

After The Brady Bunch[edit]

As a teen, Olsen was the spokesgirl for Sindy doll, made by Marx Toys from the late 1970s.

As an adult, Olsen moved into the graphic design business and in 1998 briefly marketed a brand of glow-in-the-dark shoes for Converse. She also worked as a talk show host at the Los Angeles radio station KLSX from 1995 to 1996 with Ken Ober, and co-hosted and co-wrote another radio show with comedian Allan Havey at Comedy World in 2000.

She appeared in episode 26 of Cartoon Network's talk show Space Ghost Coast to Coast, "Switcheroo", with Cassandra Peterson as "Elvira, Mistress of the Dark". Olsen has also been an advocate for migraine sufferers since 1998. She described her headaches on Larry King Live.

An urban legend claimed that Olsen had become an adult film star. In a late 1990s television interview, Olsen stated that her "porn" connection was that she created space ship sound effects for a porn film called Love Probe from a Warm Planet. She did this as a favor for a friend who worked in the technical side of the business. She went on to state that perhaps the legend got started because the star of the porn film Crocodile Blondee, which was widely distributed among troops during the Persian Gulf crisis, was rumored to be her. She added that since the porn star was very pretty, she did not try too hard to dispel the rumor.[citation needed]

In the fall of 2008, Olsen appeared on Fox Reality's Gimme My Reality Show, in which celebrities compete to win their own reality show. Susan used this vehicle to make a statement about animal rescue, a cause with which she is thoroughly involved.

On June 6, 2009, Olsen thanked retired game show host and current animal rights activist Bob Barker when The Bradys accepted an honor at the GSN Awards. Olsen is an animal welfare advocate and serves on the board of directors of the nonprofit organization Precious Paws, a rescue group. Olsen personally cares for unweaned homeless kittens until they are old enough to adopt.

Olsen's coffee-table book Love to Love You Bradys celebrates the The Brady Bunch Variety Hour. In addition to many color photos and artwork, the volume features over 100 interviews with Brady Bunch cast members, Sid Krofft, Marty Krofft, Sherwood Schwartz, Bruce Vilanch, Rip Taylor, and Paul Shaffer.

In September 2010, Olsen made a guest appearance on The Young and the Restless playing Mrs. Liza Morton, the owner of a pre-school.

In 2011, Olsen appeared in season 3, episode 43 of The Biography Channel's reality show Celebrity Ghost Stories.

Art career[edit]

While pursuing her numerous passions, Olsen has continually turned to art as a creative outlet. Her art collection, called "Fluffart," has been curated into a collection made available in limited editions.

As an animal welfare advocate, Olsen has created another art collection, entitled "The Art of Rescue". She donates the proceeds to assist animals in rescue organizations until they are able to be adopted.

In July, 2012, Olsen was one of a limited number of artists invited to show in "Art with an Agenda: An Exhibit Inspired by Kelly Thomas", at the PAS Gallery in Fullerton, California.[2] All the art on display was inspired by the life and circumstances surrounding the death of Kelly Thomas, a homeless, schizophrenic, 37-year-old man who was brutally beaten by members of the Fullerton Police Department on July 5, 2011.[3] Olsen's piece created for this exhibit, titled "Still Life,"[4] and received critical praise,[5] furthered her career as a relevant and respected contributor in the art world.[citation needed]



Year Title Role Notes
1968 Ironside Tracy Richards Episode: "Barbara Who"
1968 Julia Pamela Episode: "Paint Your Waggedorn"
1968 Gunsmoke Marianne Johnson Episode: "Abelia"
1969 Gunsmoke Marianne Johnson Episode: "A Man Called 'Smith'"
1969–74 Brady Bunch, TheThe Brady Bunch Cynthia "Cindy" Brady Main role (117 episodes)
1970 Boy Who Stole the Elephant, TheThe Boy Who Stole the Elephant Lucy Owens Movie
1972 ABC Saturday Superstar Movie, TheThe ABC Saturday Superstar Movie Cindy Brady (voice) Episode: "The Brady Kids on Mysterious Island"
1972–73 Brady Kids, TheThe Brady Kids Cindy Brady (voice) Main role (22 episodes)
1973 World of Sid & Marty Kroft at the Hollywood Bowl, TheThe World of Sid & Marty Kroft at the Hollywood Bowl The Brady Bunch Kids Movie
1976–77 Brady Bunch Hour, TheThe Brady Bunch Hour Cindy Brady Main role
1981 Brady Girls Get Married, TheThe Brady Girls Get Married Cindy Brady Movie
1984 Divorce Court Litigant Series
1990 Bradys, TheThe Bradys Cindy Brady Martin 5 episodes
1999 Pacific Blue Cindy Russell Episode: "Stargazer"
2010 Young and the Restless, TheThe Young and the Restless Liza Morton Daytime drama
2012 Halloween Puppy, AA Halloween Puppy Rachel Movie
2013 Holiday Road Trip Edna Movie
2013–15 Child of the '70s Nickel Recurring role; 6 episodes


Year Title Role Notes
1969 Trouble with Girls, TheThe Trouble with Girls Auditioning Singer
1995 Brady Bunch Movie, TheThe Brady Bunch Movie Reporter for The Daily Tattler Scenes deleted
2009 Zombo Frumpy Woman Short film
2015 Mama Claus, Deck the Halls with Guts Mama Claus


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